4 tips on safely testing and running your fuel mixture

Running ethanol-blended fuel is sure fire way to add mounds of power to direct injected fuel systems safely that can’t run straight E85. Ethanol contains tons of oxygen, burns cool, and has a high resistance to knock, providing more horsepower and torque than running high-octane conventional gasoline. Running either too little or too much ethanol in your blend will result in a lean condition causing knock and even a blown engine. Here’s how to do it right:  

1. Use an ethanol content test tube

Ethanol content test tubes are cheap, fast, and easy. Simply add water to the H20 mark, add a sample of your fuel mixture to the fuel mark, and shake it up. The water and fuel will separate on a measured line clearly showing you the ethanol percentage of your blend. You can get your own tester here:

2. Install a Flex Fuel kit.

Looking for a more high-tech solution? Flex Fuel kits install a specialized sensor capable of telling you what ethanol percentage you are at, right on your phone. Flex Fuel kits are available for many VW or Audi 2.0T engines here:

3. Run the proper ECU tune for your fuel mixture

Simply adding ethanol to your tank is not going to increase power unless the ECU is properly calibrated for it and can cause serious engine damage. Before mixing those fuels into your own tank, make sure the proper ECU tune is loaded and ready to go. 

4. Log log log & log some more

Whether you are using full E85, ethanol blends, eater/meth, or even just simple pump octanes knowing how well your car is running is the easiest way to keep your engine in one piece. Before you hammer down on a new ECU tune or fuel mixture, always log your vehicle to make sure everything, especially fueling and knock is running strong and reliable. Logging can be done through the OBD2 port with specialized tools such as VAG-COM or directly through our own IE POWERlink tool.   
If you are you are looking for a faster track time or a bigger smile on the street, ethanol blending is a powerful tool for that extra kick in performance to get the most out of your performance parts and tune.
Have questions on available IE ethanol tunes for your VW or Audi? We are happy to help, email us at